Meg Barbor, MPH

Authored Items

Patient-Reported Physical Symptoms More Likely to Be Addressed by Oncologists Than Depression or Anxiety

February 2019, Vol 9, No 2 - Symptom Management

Providers are more likely to respond to and act on patient-reported physical symptoms than they are to psychosocial symptoms, according to data presented at the 2018 ASCO Quality Care Symposium by Lisa Catherine Barbera, MD, MPA, Senior Scientist, Odette Cancer Centre, Department of Radiation Oncology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Canada. [ Read More ]

The Quality-Cost Connection in Cancer Care: Lessons from Oncology Practices in Washington State

February 2019, Vol 9, No 2 - Quality Care

Although many quality measures exist in oncology, few efforts have been undertaken to prioritize, measure, and report quality and costs for an entire region. A recent multiyear, multistakeholder effort to characterize quality of care and costs for Washington State oncology practices revealed that increased quality may be associated with a reduced cost of care in oncology. [ Read More ]

Identifying the Problem Is Key to Quality Improvement in Cancer Care

January 2019, Vol 9, No 1 - Quality Care

“There are a number of ways to go wrong when you’re trying to improve something,” said Kaveh G. Shojania, MD, Director, Centre for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, University of Toronto, Canada, and Editor-in-Chief, BMJ Quality & Safety, who delivered the keynote address at the 2018 ASCO Quality Care Symposium. When it comes to improving quality in cancer care, there are no magic bullets. Many approaches have little to no impact. But recognizing and avoiding the most common pitfalls in quality improvement efforts can improve the chances for success, according to Dr Shojania. [ Read More ]

Targeted Intervention Reduces Opioid Use by Nearly 50% After Urologic Oncology Surgery

December 2018, Vol 8, No 12 - Symptom Management

Patients can be successfully managed with minimal opioid medication after urologic oncology surgery, said Kerri Stevenson, MN, NP-C, RNFA, CWOCN, Lead Advanced Practice Provider – Interventional Radiology, Stanford Health Care, CA, at the 2018 ASCO Quality Care Symposium. She presented results from a 4-month study conducted at Stanford Health Care. Over the course of the study, patients were able to decrease their opioid use after surgery by 46%, without compromising pain control. [ Read More ]

Cannabis for Symptom Management in Cancer: Do You Know What Your Patients Are Using?

September 2018, Vol 8, No 9 - Medical Marijuana, Symptom Management

Patients with cancer are increasingly using cannabinoids (the chemical component of cannabis) to treat many symptoms, and a minority of them even take cannabis as a treatment for the cancer itself. Recent surveys have revealed that up to 25% of patients with cancer take some form of cannabis, but oncologists and other medical providers are often unaware that their patients are using medical (or recreational) cannabis. [ Read More ]

Sexual Dysfunction After Cancer: Why Aren’t We Talking About It?

July 2018, Vol 8, No 7 - Survivorship

The incidence of sexual dysfunction in cancer survivors can be high and long lasting, but early discussion, evaluation, and treatment of sexual problems can improve sexual outcomes, reduce emotional distress, and facilitate recovery in survivors. The problem is, patients and their providers are not talking about sex, according to 2 experts who implored attendees at the 2018 Oncology Nursing Society Congress to start talking about it. [ Read More ]

Encourage Minority Patients with Ovarian Cancer to Participate in Clinical Trials

June 2018, Vol 8, No 6 - Gynecologic Cancers

Participation in clinical trials may help to overcome health disparities in the treatment of advanced or recurrent ovarian cancer, and minority patients should be encouraged to participate, said Khilen B. Patel, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology Resident, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, at the 2018 Society of Gynecologic Oncology Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer. [ Read More ]

Helping Patients, Caregivers, and Survivors Navigate Cancer Support Resources: The Art of Connecting People

June 2018, Vol 8, No 6 - Survivorship

Cancer survivors are in it for the long haul, sometimes decades, and their needs change over time, according to Carolyn Messner, DSW, MSW, OSW-C, FAPOS, LCSW-R, Director of Education and Training at CancerCare. Therefore, members of the multidisciplinary care team should work collaboratively to continuously fine-tune the resources available to survivors to provide high-quality, innovative care, “and to get people what they actually need over that long haul,” she said at the 2018 Cancer Survivorship Symposium. [ Read More ]

Adherence to Exercise and Nutrition Guidelines Can Prolong Life in Cancer Survivors

June 2018, Vol 8, No 6 - Survivorship

Many cancer survivors do not meet general recommendations for diet and exercise because of a multitude of common barriers, according to Erin Van Blarigan, ScD, Assistant Professor, Departments of Epidemiology & Biostatistics and Urology, University of California, San Francisco. These barriers can be linked to persistent treatment-related side effects, fatigue, conflicting advice, uncertain therapeutic benefit, or the desire to simply “move on” and resume normal life. [ Read More ]

Survivorship Guidelines Present Challenges in Primary Care

May 2018, Vol 8, No 5 - Survivorship

In an ideal world, standardized survivorship guidelines would facilitate coordinated care between oncology and primary care, but in the real world, gaps exist and current guidelines clash, according to Linda Overholser, MD, MPH, Associate Professor, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine. She discussed her experience using guidelines related to cancer follow-­up care at the 2018 Cancer Survivorship Symposium. [ Read More ]

Understanding Immunotherapy Late Adverse Effects in Cancer Survivors

April 2018, Vol 8, No 4 - Immunotherapy, Survivorship

Because of the novel mechanisms of action of immunotherapies, extended treatment period, and unique toxicities, cancer treatment with immunotherapy warrants special consideration from a survivorship standpoint, suggested Katy K. Tsai, MD, Clinical Instructor, Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), at the 2018 Cancer Survivorship Symposium. [ Read More ]

Begin End-of-Life Conversations When Diagnosing Metastatic Disease

March 2018, Vol 8, No 3 - Palliative Care

Discussions about prognosis, transitions to palliative care, and the end of life are—to say the least—challenging for patients and providers. But effective, honest, and supportive communications are keys to good clinical care and informed decision-­making, according to Dame Lesley Fallowfield, FMedSci, DPhil, Professor of Psycho Oncology, Sussex Health Outcomes Research & Education in Cancer, University of Sussex, Brighton, England. [ Read More ]

The Challenges of Oral Cancer Drugs Use and Side-Effects Management

February 2018, Vol 8, No 2 - Side-Effects Management

There is only one “king of the road” when it comes to dealing with the adverse side effects of oral cancer drugs, and that is not the healthcare professional, according to Christine B. Boers-Doets, MSc, of the Netherlands Leiden University Medical Center, author of The TARGET System, and creator of the 7 Pillars of Ultimate Drug Success formula. She discussed this topic at the recent ESMO International Consensus Conference for Advanced Breast Cancer in Lisbon, Portugal. [ Read More ]

Silent Patients Find Their Voices Through an Advocate’s Journey

February 2018, Vol 8, No 2 - Patients Perspectives

Advocacy usually begins with personal crisis and the need for support, but it eventually moves on to sharing experiences and information with others, speaking out in public forums, and working to influence change, suggested Musa Mayer, breast cancer survivor and advocate, at the recent ESMO International Consensus Conference for Advanced Breast Cancer in Lisbon, Portugal, where she received the ABC4 Award in recognition of her 25 years of advocacy on behalf of patients with advanced breast cancer. [ Read More ]

The Role of Integrative and Alternative Medicine in Cancer Care

December 2017, Vol 7, No 12 - Integrative Medicine

New Orleans, LA—It is well known that cancer treatment is often associated with serious adverse side effects, but conventional care is often focused on cure and survival, rather than on a holistic approach to patient care, suggests Nerissa Wood, BSN, RN, OCN, Director, Tulane Comprehensive Cancer Clinic, New Orleans, LA. As a result, an increasing number of patients with cancer are turning to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to improve their quality of life and well-being while undergoing cancer treatment. [ Read More ]

Measuring Financial Well-Being in Cancer Survivorship

December 2017, Vol 7, No 12 - Survivorship

Atlanta, GA—To effectively address socioeconomic disparities in healthcare, particularly regarding cancer survivorship, it is critical that we improve our understanding of the material, psychosocial, and behavioral dimensions of financial well-being, said Reginald D. Tucker-Seeley, MA, ScM, ScD, Edward L. Schneider Chair in Gerontology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, at the 2017 AACR Science of Cancer Health Disparities Conference. [ Read More ]

How Your Oncology Practice Can Thrive with MACRA: Get Ready for the Quality Payment Program

October 2017, Vol 7, No 10 - Reimbursement

Washington, DC—By now all oncologists know that the implementation of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) is shifting physician reimbursement from a volume- to a value-based model. To succeed with MACRA, practices must become familiar with how this will affect them and get ready to incorporate the new measures to ensure they get the best level of reimbursement under this program. [ Read More ]

Drug Pricing Under the Trump Administration

July 2017, Vol 7, No 7 - Health Policy

Washington, DC—A change in leadership brings with it healthcare reform and potential changes in drug pricing in the United States, said Jessica Turgon, MBA, Principal, ECG Management Consultants, Washington, DC, at the 2017 Association of Community Cancer Centers meeting. Ms Turgon discussed what this transition of power means for cancer centers, and what oncology providers can realistically expect under the Trump administration. [ Read More ]

Teamwork and Change Management: The Power of Process Implementation

June 2017, Vol 7, No 6 - 2017 Oncology Practice Conference Highlights

Orlando, FL—The word “team­work” may not immediately come to mind when thinking about the US healthcare system, but certain methods can contribute to the development of more efficient teams in the delivery of oncology care, said Doris Quinn, PhD, Consultant in Process Improvement, at ASCO’s first Oncology Practice Conference in March 2017. [ Read More ]

Supergroups: Sharing the Burden Put on Independent Oncology Practices

June 2017, Vol 7, No 6 - 2017 Oncology Practice Conference Highlights

Orlando, FL—With many external pressures being put on independent oncology practices, such as the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) legislation, 340B drug pricing, site-neutrality issues creating disparity, US Pharmacopeia Convention (USP) 797 and USP 800 guidelines, and quality reporting, oncology practices are struggling to bear the weight independently, and a team approach is more vital than ever. As a result, the allure of becoming part of a supergroup is hard to deny, said 2 presenters at ASCO’s first Oncology Practice Conference in March 2017. [ Read More ]

ASCO’s New Patient-Centered Oncology Payment Model

June 2017, Vol 7, No 6 - Reimbursement

Orlando, FL—The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has developed a proposal for an Alternative Payment Model that is focused on delivering value in oncology and supporting higher-quality and more affordable cancer care. Dan Zuckerman, MD, Executive Medical Director, St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute, and Past Chair, ASCO’s Clinical Practice Committee, discussed the details of the new Patient-Centered Oncology Payment model at ASCO’s first Oncology Practice Conference in March 2017. [ Read More ]

Input from Patients, Families, and Caregivers Can Enhance the Quality of Patient Care

May 2017, Vol 7, No 5 - Quality Care

Orlando, FL—Establishing a Patient and Family Advisory Council for Quality (PFACQ) is one of the most direct routes to true patient-centered care, said Kate Niehaus, MBA, Chair, PFACQ, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), New York City, at the 2017 ASCO Quality Care Symposium. Ms Niehaus discussed how PFACQs can be used as a mechanism for the patient’s voice. [ Read More ]

Integrating Patient-Reported Outcomes into Clinical Practice in Oncology

May 2017, Vol 7, No 5 - Quality Care

Orlando, FL—The term “patient-reported outcome” has become ubiquitous in cancer care. Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) are still in the early stages of being integrated into quality assessment programs and routine clinical practice, but engaging patients through PROs can be an invaluable tool for assessing and improving the quality of symptom management, said Ethan M. Basch, MD, MSc, FASCO, Director, Cancer Outcomes Research Program, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, at the 2017 ASCO Quality Care Symposium. [ Read More ]

Physician Burnout in the Oncology Practice Setting

May 2017, Vol 7, No 5 - Oncology Practice Conference 2017

Orlando, FL—Burnout is a syndrome that includes feeling exhausted, cynical, and ineffective at work. Recognizing the triad of symptoms in the oncology setting is the first step to identifying physician burnout, said Anthony L. Back, MD, Professor, University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, at ASCO’s first Oncology Practice Conference in March 2017. [ Read More ]

Making the Transition from Volume to Value

April 2017, Vol 7, No 4 - Oncology Practice Conference 2017

Orlando, FL—Value-based care—the best care delivered at the lowest cost—is here to stay, said Karen K. Fields, MD, Medical Director, Clinical Pathways and Value-Based Cancer Care, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, at ASCO’s first Oncology Practice Conference in March 2017. But certain steps must be taken to ensure a smooth transition from fee-for-service to value-based care for institutions and for physicians, Dr Fields said. [ Read More ]

Telemedicine: The Future Is Now

April 2017, Vol 7, No 4 - Oncology Practice Conference 2017

Orlando, FL—Telemedicine, or the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by means of telecommunications technology, is now at the forefront of efficient healthcare delivery. This fundamental change in the delivery of healthcare focuses on bringing medicine to the patient rather than bringing the patient to medicine, said Richard J. Boxer, MD, FACS, Clinical Professor of Urology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, at ASCO’s first Oncology Practice Conference in March 2017. [ Read More ]

Is Value-Based Pricing the Solution to Controlling the Cost of Oncology Drugs?

February 2017, Vol 7, No 2 - Care Delivery

Anticancer drugs should be priced based on the value they deliver to patients, according to Peter B. Bach, MD, Director, Center for Health Policy and Outcomes, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York. “The prices have gotten to a scale that they’re actually harming the people the products are intended to help,” Dr Bach said at the 2016 Annual meeting of the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association Oncology Pharmacy Practice Management Program. [ Read More ]

Comparing the Current Value Frameworks in Oncology

January 2017, Vol 7, No 1 - Value-Based Care

Value frameworks in oncology are relatively early in development, and their ultimate impact remains unknown, but at a minimum, providers should be aware of the current value frameworks and how each value framework measures value, as well as their implications for clinical trial development, said Kasia Shields, PharmD, MBA, BCOP, BCPS, Director, Medical Communications, Xcenda/AmerisourceBergen, at the 2016 Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association Oncology Pharmacy Practice Management Program. [ Read More ]